What's in My Bag

What’s in my bag? — Mom Outing Essentials


What's in my bag? issue #58

This is Part 2 of a special What’s in my Bag? issue. Last week Camille shared her Kid Outing Essentials.

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Camille Hartsell has honed her question-answering, book-making, and odd-jobbing skills over many years of working as research librarian to Kevin Kelly. Since the arrival of her kids (now 3.5 and 6.5), and especially COVID-19, she is mostly a stay-at-home-parent, which makes her substitute teacher, camp counselor, art facilitator, life-guard, and mediator of many feelings and disputes.

About the bag

Topo Trip Pack ($44)
My hands and arms have to be available at all times given my 3.5yo’s penchant for random mischief. This is far and away my favorite backpack design. I like how narrow this pack is, while still big enough to accommodate the usual essentials, including my laptop. The double zipper offers versatility, and the fact that it only zips ¾ of the way to the bottom means it doesn’t easily spill contents everywhere when unzipped by an overzealous toddler. This is NOT a schlep-it-all diaper bag, it’s MY bag — another reason I love it.

What’s inside the bag

MyWalit Double Flap ($119)
I’m a sucker for loud colors, and I’ve been using wallets by this company for 15+ years. Before kids, I used their super minimal card case, which was great for the essentials. But once I started needing to haul around larger bags full of crap for other humans, the tiny wallet kept getting lost in the shuffle. I upgraded to this maximalist style and can pretty much always find it now. Even when I’m carrying my smaller backpack (above), it’s nice to be able to reach in and grab it in a split second without even looking. Not that we’re visiting these days, but it has plenty of room for museum membership cards, plus spare earring backs and bobby pins, etc.

Migraine kit: Chewable Ginger Tablets + MigraSoothe Roll-On
I get hormonal migraines on a pretty predictable schedule, so I always have a little kit of tools for managing their onset. It includes small guns like Tylenol as well as my last-line-of-defense presciption medicaiton (Maxalt). My two clutch items are ginger tablets (Ginger Rescue) and a peppermint oil roller ball (MigraSoothe, formerly Mygrastick) to help keep nausea at bay while I plan my exit to a dark quiet room. When I feel a headache coming on, I chew a couple tablets and apply a bit of the oil to my temples right away. The peppermint smells good, feels cool and soothing. Both steps are a way to signal to myself that I’m taking care of myself, I have tools available, and I’ll get through whatever comes next.

Papa and Barkley 30:1 Releaf Tincture
I use this non-intoxicating CBD oil in a kind of similar way to the peppermint rollerball above. If it’s been A DAY, and I want to transition into recovery mode, I’ll take a bit of this sublingually. Even though the amount of THC in this formula is extremely low, I do find that within about 15 minutes, I feel more relaxed. Psychosomatic? Quite possibly, which is fine by me.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Color Correcting Treatment ($18)
I tend to have a fair amount of redness around my nose and a couple other spots on my face. I don’t wear makeup on the regular, but I like being able to ameliorate this redness. I tried another product that was kind of like a concealer, but found it to be overly drying and hard to blend. Then I got this tiny trial pot from Sephora and I really like it. It’s lightweight, blends easily, and even contains SPF. You can apply it to your entire face, but I just use it in the areas I’m targeting for redness.


(What's in YOUR bag? We want to hear about unusual and unusually useful items that you carry in your bag. We are especially interested in the specialized bags of doctors, athletes, repair techs, artists, gardeners, hikers, etc. Start by sending an email to claudia@cool-tools.org with a photo of the things in your bag (you can use your phone). If you get a reply from us, fill out the form. We’ll pay you $50 if we run your submission in our What’s in my bag? newsletter and blog. — editors)

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